News Analysis 05 Sept , 2022

05 Sep, 2022


1. Our heritage is Our responsibility
2. Regulation of FinTechs
3. Metaverse


1. Our heritage is Our responsibility.


Theme : Indian Heritage Sites, Indian Architecture.




                         TABLE OF CONTENT


  1. Context

  2. Total Sites In India.

  3. Constitutional and Legislative Provisions

  4. Issues Related to Heritage Management in India

  5. International Conventions to which India is Signatory

  6. Ways Ahead


Context :
India has one of the largest geo-political expanses and one of the greatest volume and diversity in heritage. However, a number of heritage structures do not come under any formal system due to which the potential of India's unsurmountable heritage remains largely untapped.

Total Sites in India : There are 40 World Heritage Sites in India, including 32 cultural sites, 7 natural sites, and 1 Mixed site. Also, approximately 3,691 monuments in the custody of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are declared as monuments of national importance.


Constitutional and Legislative Provisions:

  • Directive Principles of State Policy: Article 49 puts obligation on the State to protect every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interest, declared by or under law made by Parliament to be of national importance.

  • Fundamental Duty: Article 51A of Constitution states that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to value and preserve the rich heritage of our culture.

  • Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act) 1958: It is an act of the Parliament of India that provides for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.



Issues Related to Heritage Management in India

  • Lack of Centralized Database for Heritage Sites: India lacks a complete national level database with state wise distribution of heritage structure.

  • Lack of Center-State Coordination: Despite the presence of some of the best conservation and heritage management institutions in India like Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) , a multidisciplinary approach to practicing heritage conservation is lacking due to lack of coordination between the center and the state.

  • Prevailing Developmental Activities over Heritage Conservation: In India, many sites with rich deposits of archaeological remains have been destroyed due to developmental activities.


International Conventions to which India is Signatory :

  • Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, 1977

  • Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2005

  • Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, 2006

  • United Nations World Heritage Committee: India has been elected as a member of the committee for the term 2021-25.


Ways Ahead :

  • Creating National Database of Heritage Sites

  • Use of Latest Technologies: ASI adopted the Excavation Policy in 2015. There is a need to update this policy keeping in view the changing scenarios with advancement in technology.

    • New technology like Photogrammetry & 3D Laser scanning, LiDAR and Satellite Remote Sensing Surveys should be used for documentation, surveys, excavation and conservation works.

  • Integrating Heritage-City Planning: Heritage Impact Assessment of all major infrastructure projects should also be taken into account.

  • Heritage Tourism and Education: By promoting heritage tourism, India can successfully preserve cultural and historic resources while boosting local economies by generating jobs, new businesses and generating revenue to the governments.

  • Innovative Measures to Increase Engagement: Monuments that do not attract a large number of visitors and those which have no associated cultural/religious sensitivity should be used as venues for cultural programmes with the twin objectives:

    • Promoting the associated intangible heritage

    • Increasing visitor numbers to such sites.

  • Value Based and Scientific Approach: It is essential that a holistic conservation plan through a multidisciplinary team is prepared following a value based and scientific approach before undertaking any conservation works.


2. Regulation of FinTechs.


Theme : IT, Growth & Development, Banking.




                              TABLE OF CONTENT

  1. Context

  2. What are FinTechs?

  3. Importance of FinTechs

  4. Issue with their Regulation

  5. Right Approach of Regulating FinTechs

  6. Indian Regulations


Context :
Along with the deepening of technology and digital services, there’s been a rise in digital fraud and consumer dissatisfaction. This has triggered the need to take a closer look at the operation of the FinTechs, resulting in the introduction of certain supervisory steps to address the risks emanating from their activities.


What are FinTechs?

  • Originally, FinTech referred to the technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions.

  • However, in the past few years, the term has expanded to include any technological innovation in the financial sector (financial literacy and education, retail banking, investment and even crypto-currencies.

  • FinTech is any technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.



Importance of FinTechs :

  • FinTech is redefining financial services for the common folks; the use of big data for small credit through smart analytics and algorithms has vastly expanded the pool of eligible borrowers in India.

  • FinTech has brought down the cost of doing business drastically. The cost of a digital transaction like payments, credit assessment and fraud check is a fraction of the amount spent on physical processes.

  • Redefined Importance during Post Demonetization and Post Covid.


Issue with their Regulation :

  • Regulation is a major problem in the emerging world of FinTech, especially cryptocurrencies. In most countries, they are unregulated and have become fertile ground for scams and frauds.

  • Due to the diversity of offerings in FinTech, it is difficult to formulate a single and comprehensive approach to these problems.Regulatory uncertainty in the FinTech sector is making things complicated for both FinTech service providers and consumers.

  • The absence of an overarching regulatory framework for FinTechs have created multiple points of ambiguity in the system for companies, investors and consumers.

  • Being away from the radar of the regulator, a number of unethical practices in lending have also been reported.


Right Approach of Regulating FinTechs :

  • Comprehensive Regulatory Framework: A sensible regulation with transparency will strengthen the sector in the long run and facilitate the Indian economy in growing at its potential rate by allowing its growth drivers to fuel the engine of economic advancement.

  • Bringing Bigtechs in Regulatory Ambit: The real challenge for FinTech comes from Bigtechs, which have primary businesses in non-financial sectors such as social media, telecommunications, Internet search and e-commerce.

  • Prioritizing Consumer Protection: Trying to find the right balance between consumer protection and product innovation has been a struggle for regulators when looking to govern the FinTech space.

  • Compatible Policy: Policies that target both FinTech firms and traditional banks proportionately are needed. This way, the opportunities that FinTech offers will be fostered, while risks will be contained.


Indian Regulations :

  • Although there is no direct intervention by the RBI to regulate FinTech companies  but few Initiatives are there :

                  1.RBI’s FinTech Regulatory Sandbox

                  2. Payment System Operators license.

  • Recently, the RBI has notified that it has firmed up a regulatory framework to support orderly growth of credit delivery through digital lending.


3. Metaverse.


Theme : Science & Technology




                                   TABLE OF CONTENT


  1. Context

  2. What is Metaverse?

  3. Opportunities of Metaverse

  4. Challenges

  5. India’s Role in Multiverse


Context :
While the technical, demographic and policy foundations for the metaverse appear to be present in India, there remains the operational challenge of building the metaverse.


What is Metaverse?

  • The metaverse is not a new idea, science fiction writer Neal Stephenson coined the term in 1992, and the concept is commonplace among video game companies.

  • Metaverse is the next version of the Internet focused on social connection.

  • It can be imagined as a 3D virtual world, with ever-evolving aspects which are collectively shared by its inhabitants - a virtual world with real-time events and an online infrastructure.

  • In theory, it encapsulates everything that’s happening into the real world and will bring real-time events and updates going forward. The user exists in a virtual world without borders.



Opportunities of Metaverse

  • Virtual communities, activities, events, all seamlessly accessible without the need to sign into multiple apps.

  • For a user-centric approach, a key aspect of the Metaverse that will work in its favor is the effortless transition from one to the next step without discrepancies.

  • With the Covid-19 pandemic confining us to our homes for work, the Metaverse takes it to another level. It facilitates seamless cross-platform interaction with one’s friends, family, colleagues across the world.

  • Cross-platform interaction is in its infancy even in the gaming industry. With the Metaverse, cross-platform interaction will be the gold standard for seamless virtual interaction across the globe. Addresses and pin codes won’t be a mandate anymore.

  • With the Metaverse, the virtual marketplace will be a serious business affair.Brands will transform the way they advertise, which will be a memorable experience rather than the intrusive pop-ups and forced ads as seen today.



  • Several women have reported incidents of harassment, including a beta tester who was virtually groped by a stranger. There has been a reported incident of gang-rape as well.

  • It could also lead to new scrutiny of old issues like privacy and managing who does what to whom in a virtual world.

  • Psychologists and social scientists across the world are now worried about the psychological impacts of dual reality.


India’s Role in the Multiverse :

  • India's talent at producing and exporting software and software developers gives the country a unique advantage in the coming world of the metaverse, where our digital personas would be as important as our physical selves.

  • Digital India and the components under it such as - Aadhar, Digital Health IDs and Digital Payments System, therefore, is the preparatory infrastructure that is needed for the transition to a digital economy and to the metaverse.